Going full patriotic this Fourth of July? Know the rules.
Just kidding, there aren’t any (woo, America!). It’s permissible — if not downright mandatory — to drape yourself in the red, white and blue … as long as those stars and stripes are simply a clothing theme, and not made out of an actual flag.
No less an authority than the American Legion itself condones it: “There is NO breach of flag etiquette whatsoever. People are simply expressing their patriotism and love of country by wearing an article of clothing that happens to be red, white, and blue with stars and stripes.”
But that doesn’t mean you have to be tacky about it. Aim for subtle or clever, not garish and bold. As a fashion statement, think more “I like this country,” less “America, F*** Yeah.”
A few of the more dapper, flag-themed items to consider:
Graphic Colorblock Half-Zip by Todd Snyder and Champion
Tasteful red, white and blue. Vintage Champion logo. On sale for $89, down from $198 (and in all sizes, too!). What more could you want from a fireworks-friendly layer?
The America Collection by Ball and Buck
Yes, the Hunter’s Shirt ('Merica Edition) might take a special kind of guy to pull it off. But that red-and-white striped Oxford bow tie? That’ll work even on non-patriotic holidays.
USA Kennedy Socks by American Trench
JFK lounging on a yacht watching the America's Cup — can you think of a more quintessentially American summer-style moment? Inspired by photos of that day in 1962 (and the socks Kennedy wore), American Trench cooked up five limited-edition pairs.
Ballistic Nylon Watch Strap by DaLuca
Omega has some stellar NATO strap offerings we’d love to recommend, but at $160 a pop we can’t (in good conscience). We can stand behind this tough-wearing option from DaLuca — one of our favorite summer watch straps.
The Liberties by Chubbies
At first glance, just colorful red and blue trunks. Get it wet? The solid colors reveal stars and stripes, thanks to “good ol’ invisiprint technology.” We also dig the, um, pineapple-flamingo Fruited Plains.
Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Americana
They’ll never top their limited-edition retro flag sneaks from 2014, but these low tops emphasize white space and red stripes over stars. Result: a casual summer shoe that just hints at its patriotic zeal.
Star Denim B.D Shirt by SOPHNET.
The denim makes up for the lack of stripes in this button-down, which can be dressed up with a jacket or rolled up at the cuffs and paired with shorts. Also pairs well with Roman candles.
Mr & Mrs Smith Copacabana Swim Shorts by Frescobol Carioca
The folks at Frescobol Carioca blend refined beach styling with old-world athleticism (less Spikeball, more, well, frescobol). But in teaming up with travel club Mr & Mrs Smith, they serendipitously crafted the best Fourth of July swimsuit this side of the yacht club.
Cool Cotton USA Trunk by Tommy John
Despite the American Legion giving the A-OK, we say skip the full-on Old Glory under trou. Instead, grab a pair of Tommy John’s fine-tuned USA trunks. They’re breathable, engineered for a perfect fit and — unlike other holiday-themed skivvies — appropriate all-year long.
Custom Slim Fit Mesh Polo by Polo Ralph Lauren
Available in Red Beret or Cruise Navy, this polo — like the brand itself — bleeds Americana. If you’ve ever entertained the idea of those gas-station bald-eagle shirts (or have one in your closet), do yourself a favor and don this instead. They also offer a classic fit sans eagle.
Fourth of July Element Short Sleeve by Rhone
For those who’ve dutifully bought Old Navy’s flag T-shirt year after year, think about switching it up with this limited-edition tee from Rhone. The graphics are simple, but the odor-fighting SilverTech construction will keep you fresh even if you’re manning the grill.
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